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Mormon church donates $25k to LGBTQ support group

Mormon church donates $25k to LGBTQ support group
People arrive for the morning session of the two-day Mormon church conference Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Mormons will hear guidance and inspiration from the religion's top leaders during a church conference this weekend in Salt Lake City as well as getting an update about church membership statistics. Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not known for being LGBTQ-friendly.

They were one of the major backers of California’s Proposition 8 that repealed same-sex marriage rights in the state. They’ve said masturbation turns boys gay and cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America after the group started accepting LGBT scouts and girls.

But for the first time, the church is working with a support group for LGBTQ Mormons – including giving the organization, Affirmation, a gift of $25,000.

“Over the past decade, we have really spent a lot of time building a productive relationship with the LDS Church to create a safe space for LGBTQ people,” Affirmation President Carson Tueller told the Salt Lake Tribune.

“This is one of those places where our missions overlap and mesh. This is a good steppingstone and shows a certain amount of trust that has been built.”

The gift will be used to train Affirmation staff to become certified suicide prevention trainers.

“We can’t do this alone,” Tueller added. “Only by working together can we begin to reach everybody who needs to be reached both in and out of the church.”

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